Not a bad reading month. Not a bad reading month at all. I hit a tiny 3-day reading slump in February, but I conquered it and persevered. These are the books I read in February:
(For more of more in-depth thoughts and info on what each book is about, click the title and it’ll take you to a full review if I’ve written one.)
- We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. 4 out of 5 stars. I really liked this essay, but nothing about it really surprised me. Nevertheless, it was fantastic to see feminism described not as a movement for empowering women, but as an effort to make all humans equal with an emphasis on the fact that gender discrimination is an obstacle in that regard. With a definition like that, we should all be feminists.
- The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. 4 out of 5 stars. I wanted to read Yoon’s Everything, Everything early this year, and somehow ended up checking her newer release out of the library instead. This one takes place mainly over the course of one eventful day for two teens in New York City, and certainly makes an impact. This is a great YA book that promotes equality and diversity, but it’s also a warm love story. It wasn’t my favorite YA book of all time, but it did encourage me to resume my quest for Yoon’s other book.
- Landline by Rainbow Rowell. 4 out of 5 stars. My introduction to Rowell’s books was relatively recent, but I’m steadily making my way through them. This has been my third Rowell novel now, and although it wasn’t what I expected (I didn’t know the phone was going to be magical when I set out to read this one), I did love the characters and their story. This will not be my last Rowell read, that’s for certain.
- I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh. 4 out of 5 stars. Speaking of books that did not turn out as expected, this one takes the cake. For over 100 pages I was in doubt over whether this book was actually truly supposed to be a thriller, and then once everything was laid out the plot twists just kept on coming until I could hardly believe I’d ever doubted. This is the kind of book that you want to start over again as soon as you reach the end, and I’ll definitely be picking up Mackintosh’s newest release soon.
- City of Glass by Cassandra Clare. 5 out of 5 stars. I think I had even more fun rereading the first three books of the Mortal Instruments series with half-memories of events than I did the first time as a young teen. These books are absolutely addicting, though I’m not sure I’ll be rating as high as I move on into the series with the books I haven’t read previously. I’m a little nervous about those three books that were added on to the original trilogy, but I had so much fun reliving these first books that I’ll definitely be continuing on next month. I hope Clary undergoes some character development moving forward, but I like everyone else enough that I’m excited to see where the series will go.
- Persuasion by Jane Austen. 5 out of 5 stars. This book was my designated classic of the month, and I absolutely loved it. I started reading a couple of chapters last year around this same time, but I just wasn’t in the mood for it then and put it off. This month, though, I started over and made it all the way through without any difficulty because an Austen romance was exactly the sort I wanted to be reading this February. I’m surprisingly unfamiliar with Austen’s plots, having only read one other of her books so far (Northanger Abbey) and seen one of the movies (Sense and Sebsibility), but I have a couple others on my shelf (Pride and Prejudice and Emma) and I’m looking forward to delving into them. I knew this one would be a romance, but it was written so well that I did have some doubts about which of the characters were going to end up falling in love at a couple of points, which I appreciated. There were certainly a few events in here I did not see coming, and the tension toward the end was wonderfully handled. Some of the characters are (intentionally) insufferable, but that only added to the real-feel of the novel and the attraction of the other characters. I’ll absolutely be reading more Austen within the year, though I’ve got a few other classics to fill my months before she comes back up on the roster. Anyway, don’t be surprised if this one turns up on a favorites list of mine later this year…
- Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen. 4 out 5 stars. A Sarah Dessen romance was also exactly what I was in the mood for this February, and though this one got off to a rocky start for me, I ended up having a hard time putting it down a couple of chapters later. I like the way Dessen addresses teen problems and emotions–in this one, the dangers of an uncommunicative family, and the repercussions one person’s actions can have on everyone around them. There’s also so much good food in this one that it leaves the mouth watering.
- Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke. 3 out of 5 stars. I wanted to love this one. I thought it would be short and quirky and fun, but ultimately I thought it strange. I did appreciate the message, though it was given more through atmosphere and emotion than plot, and I don’t regret reading it, but it wasn’t exactly the book for me. Still, it was a quick and easy read that I thoroughly enjoyed at some points, so if you’re the type of reader who likes books that arent’ too plotty, give this one a chance. And if you don’t read it, at least check out it’s beautiful cover.
- Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. 5 out of 5 stars. I could have read another Cassandra Clare book this month, since reading her 10 (soon to be 11) shadowhunter books was a big 2017 goal of mine. Picking up the next shadowhunter book might have been the wiser choice. But The Grishaverse is another 2017 goal of mine, and I was just too excited about getting started on Bardugo’s books to make the smart choice and finish one big series at a time. I’m glad I picked Shadow and Bone up this month, because I’m already hooked and looking forward to my next Grisha read. Similar to my issues with Clary in Cassandra Clare’s books, though, Alina of Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy has her flaws. I’m hoping the next two books in this series will help improve her character, but even if not I’m enough in love with the world and everyone else in it that I’ll definitely be continuing. This was a highlight of the month for me.
- Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough. 5 out of 5 stars. Not only did I want to read this book within the month because I’m trying to keep up with my monthly Book of the Month Club selections, but I Let You Go gave me a massive need to read more thrillers. Once I’d finished reading my planned TBR for the month, I jumped immediately to this BOTM thriller for February because I’d heard it was supposed to have an amazing ending that no one would ever see coming. I hit a mini reading slump just as I was getting into this one (it had nothing to do with this book, though), but I did find the characters and the layout of this story intriguing. It took a few chapters to get into the hang of things, but this book seemed particularly thriller-esque right from the start.
- I’m currently reading Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Angel. The only reason I’m mentioning this book here rather than just waiting for my March wrap-up is that I’m reading Cassandra Clare’s books in publication order. I meant to finish this one in February, but it didn’t quite happen. However, I only included the book after this one in my March TBR, and I didn’t want Clockwork Angel to go without recognition, so here it is.
All in all, it was a decent reading month. I had way too many extras in mind, so I feel like I failed for getting to so few of them, but I shouldn’t feel that way. 10 books in a short month is a great reading achievement for me, even if it is a little behind where I was at in January. Last year at this time I was only averaging about 4-5 books per month, so having doubled that (and crossed everything off my official TBR for the month) is an accomplishment. I didn’t love everything I read this month, but there was nothing I regret spending my reading time on either, so also a decent reading month in terms of content. I’m crossing my fingers hoping to be as successful with my goals in March, as well!
Have you read any of these books? What did you think?
The Literary Elephant